Surprise!?? There are lots of kindergarteners in Portland
In today's Oregonian, the blaring headline: "Finally, a bumper crop of Portland kindergarteners ... The growing enrollment is welcome, albeit unexpected." In 2008, the Portland Public School district enrolled 3,950 kindergarteners, a 4% increase over 2007 (all metropolitan-area kindergartens grew but Gresham and Lake Oswego). There are all kinds of ways to utilize these numbers; kindergarten enrollment is used to forecast enrollment for all grades (that's obvious!), and it seems to be an indicator of population growth. Due to relatively infrequent census surveys, often localities like Portland are left in a year like '08 just not knowing where the people are.
Silly PPS. I know people here on urbanMamas and elsewhere in the Portland blogosphere have been commenting on the growing population for years. From packed prenatal yoga classes to waiting lists for preschool spots to crowding at Piccolo Park: we've been noticing that Portland is a great place to have babies, and lots of people are doing so.
If I was doing the forecasting, I would have already picked this year to be a growth year, and promised growth in kindergartens for the next 10 years to come. I think 2010 will be a particularly huge one! What do you see in your crystal ball (also known as your neighborhood coffee shop mid-morning)?